Johan Santana’s New York Mets’ debut was nearly all that Mets’ fans could expect from the southpaw.
Santana struck out eight over seven innings, giving up only three hits—one of them a two-run homer to right-handed slugger Josh Willingham.
Santana wasn’t the only story down in Miami, as all of the Mets’ position players except for Brian Schneider reached base.
Jose Reyes exorcized his season-ending demons from 2007 with two hits, an RBI, and a run scored.
Luis Castillo reached base three times, enabling David Wright to drive in three runs as a part of his two-double day.
Carlos Beltran also notched two doubles and traversed centerfield flawlessly after off-season knee surgery.
Newcomers Angel Pagan and Ryan Church each got a hit, scored a run, and drove in one as well.
The bullpen pitched two scoreless innings following Santana; however Scott Schoeneweis and Jorge Sosa had to rescue Matt Wise after giving up two hits.
Aaron Heilman recorded two strikeouts during his perfect ninth inning.
Florida starter Mark Hendrickson started off the game by striking out Jose Reyes, but allowed ten base runners in his five innings of work, giving up all six of his runs in the fourth.
Former Met farmhand Matt Lindstrom allowed Marlon Anderson to score an unearned run in the top of the ninth. Anderson singled and later scored after an errant throw by catcher Matt Treanor.
Tomorrow evening’s action will pit Pedro Martinez against one of Florida’s many young starters, 22 year-old Rick VandenHurk.